The Advantages and Disadvantages of Working from HomeMay 30, 2022
There are pros and cons to working from home, and it is a working style that may or may not suit you. Therefore, before you decide to start working from home, it is essential to understand both the advantages and disadvantages of this work arrangement. This blog post will discuss the pros and cons of working from home so that you can make an informed decision about whether or not this type of work arrangement is right for you.
Is working from home right for you?
Back in the day, one may think it impossible to have a work arrangement where you work from home. However, as technology improved, what was once a myth became a reality. Working from home or remote is now possible with vastly improved computers, laptops, communication tools, and the Internet. The COVID pandemic only hastened this work setup's widespread implementation and popularity. However, the remote work setup is gaining traction even before the pandemic as more people take freelancing and online-only jobs, enabling working from home. Indeed, a work-from-home job is now an option that one can take aside from doing the traditional work setup of having to go to an office to do your job.
Before jumping aboard and joining the force of remote workers, it's essential to learn the pros and cons of working from home. From the outset, it looks like a delightful work setup. Imagine working from the comfort of your home without having to deal with office distractions, avoiding the rush hour traffic, and getting the work-life balance you have always wanted. However, there are also disadvantages to working from home, so learn the ups and downs of remote work, and see if it is something that can work for you.
You can save more money. One of the best things about working from home is saving more money by cutting off expenses from what you usually have to spend on when doing work the traditional way. For example, you can save money by cutting off transportation expenses since commuting is unnecessary. Also, you can cut back on food expenses, such as going to coffee shops and restaurants to dine.
Better work-life balance. Working from home is what can give you the work-life balance you are dreaming of having. You can now convert all the commuting hours you used to have when going to the office to do something else. For example, you can devote your extra time to finishing household chores, having more time for family life and yourself, doing physical exercise, or simply having more time to relax and pursue your other interests.
Your technical skills will improve. Most remote jobs involve having to use the computer to do your work. They also include using various applications and software for communication. If you are not that computer savvy, you will become better at it when you decide to work from home. So it's imperative that before you choose to do such a work setup, you should polish your computer skills to prepare yourself and score more opportunities of getting the work you want.
Fewer distractions. A work-at-home job can offer fewer distractions while doing work. However, it will depend on how disciplined and good your self-control is towards distractions. The truth is that there are just as many distractions at home as there are in the office. No one is supervising you all the time, and there's the television. There's no browsing limitation on your computer. Your pet and family and family members can disturb you and have more breaks than usual. However, if we are talking about reducing distractions from the office, such as office chatter and the phones ringing, it can happen when you work from home.
More flexibility. Work-from-home jobs offer unparalleled flexibility in providing more work-life balance and how you conduct your work. For example, some remote jobs don't stick with the traditional eight-hour work setup that starts and ends at a fixed time. Instead, they might have flexible schedules that allow you to start and end your work anytime. What's vital is that deliverables get accomplished, and even deadlines may be more manageable. Also, one remote work you have may only involve a few hours daily, so it's possible to do another job for your remaining time. People with disabilities, such as leg impairments, will also find it easier to do a work-at-home job, opening more opportunities.
Greater satisfaction and positivity. Having more time for personal life and doing your work tasks on your terms can make people feel more satisfied and happy when doing work from home. It can lead to increased productivity and higher optimism in life. Increased productivity relates to a more significant amount of work done with quality output. It's a win-win situation for both the client and the remote worker.
You will shoulder the costs for your office space and equipment. While you might be able to save money by cutting off expenses on transportation and food, there is a catch when working from home. The money you save will now go instead to procuring equipment for your work setup, such as a computer or laptop, an adequate work desk, a comfortable chair, lights, office supplies, etc. You will also need to shoulder your Internet fees, maintenance costs for computer equipment, and expenses for repairs in case something breaks down. Some clients for remote workers may provide benefits for covering Internet fees and computer equipment, but don't expect too much. It will be nice to know people who can do computer hardware and software services before venturing into remote work, so you have a backup if things fail.
Social isolation. It may or may not happen to you depending on your personality and behavior, but increased social isolation is one of the downsides of working from home. Sure enough, you may be able to interact with your coworkers through video calls or messaging them through communication tools, but the lack of physical presence is there. Your family members may be there for you, but many of us also want to spend time with friends and coworkers. Limited social interaction is a part of doing remote work, so you must consider this factor before trying a work-from-home setup. If you are the type of person that likes to hear coworkers talking and mingling with them during work, you may find it challenging to do remote work.
Boundaries between work and home life become unclear. Sometimes, doing your work from home can last beyond regular work hours. When deadlines and schedules are flexible, it's easy to become a workaholic and keep working, not noticing the time flying by. Also, the line between work and personal life may become thinner than ever, considering the place where you are working and doing things for fun and relaxation is the same. Therefore, it's vital to distinguish when it is time for work and play when doing remote work.
Less time for physical activity. It can be more tempting to lead a sedentary lifestyle when working from home. But, at least when going to the office, you have to work your body by walking and running, trying to make it to the office. You may also have to step up and down the stairs or fetch requests from your boss. When you work remotely, you mostly spend time working in front of your computer or laptop while sitting on a chair or lying down on your bed. Taking a break may also mean lying down on the bed. One will need to make a conscious effort to exercise when the nature of your work is mostly at home.
More distractions. There can be more distractions at your home than in your office. You need to have lots of discipline, willpower, and good time management to resist them when it's time to work. Family members may nag you for their wants, especially if you have a child. Various forms of entertainment lie around, waiting for you to indulge in them. It's also possible to have more breaks than usual. All sorts of noise from the outside, depending on your neighborhood, can disturb you. No one is also limiting you from checking your smartphone and fiddling with it. If you want to work from home, it can be an excellent idea to have a dedicated and quiet space for working remotely. Telling your family members when not to disturb you is also a good idea.
Absence of company benefits. Some remote work opportunities will only pay you for what you worked, and that's it. You may not have any paid leaves or other benefits compared to traditional office work within a company. This kind of thing usually happens when you have to do work for a client, and the client is the boss and the company itself. They may or may not give other benefits aside from the basic pay. The pay may also be dependent on the amount of work done. Some do provide benefits, and you have to do the diligent work to find them if you want other things aside from your basic salary while working from home.
Working from home is not a universal replacement for the traditional work setup. However, it is now a reality, and various companies have adopted this work lifestyle. Some companies employ a hybrid approach where the office work setup remains while giving people the option to become remote employees if they want. Other companies, mainly in the freelancing world and various clients and start-ups, offer an entirely remote work nature for their jobs. You should see if you are okay with an altogether remote work nature or if you still prefer going to the office from time to time. If you want to do an all-out work-from-home setup, see if most of the advantages we listed and other factors appeal to you. Also, check if any of the disadvantages we listed, among others, are a concern to you. To sum it up, working from home can be a good setup for you if:
- You have the skills required to do the remote work you want, such as writing, programming, social media expertise, e-commerce platforms knowledge, etc.
- You have the equipment and a reliable Internet connection in your home. Otherwise, you must be willing to spend money to cover the initial costs and maintenance fees further down the line.
- You can survive for a prolonged time without too much social interaction.
- You are disciplined enough to control yourself when too many distractions can tempt you.
- You travel a lot and don't stay in one place for too long; plus you have a laptop with you.
- You want more work-life balance.
- You hate commuting and getting stuck in traffic.
- You want to pursue your other goals and have more time to work on them.
A work-from-home setup may be the thing that will work for you if most or all of the things we listed apply to you. Try if it works, and you may want to cling to this kind of work environment forever.